A total of 24 people from the Ohio Valley Publishing area were named to the 2019 Ohio Prep Sports Writers Association Southeast Ohio All-District football teams within six divisions, as voted on by numerous media outlets within the southeast district of the Buckeye State.
The OVP area produced a pair of playoff qualifiers from its six area programs, and both Gallia Academy and Eastern were well rewarded for making their respective postseason runs.
The Blue Devils (9-2) appeared in their second consecutive Division IV, Region 15 postseason before falling to Waverly in the opening round, but the Blue and White led all of Gallia and Meigs counties with nine total selections — including a pair of special honorees.
GAHS came away with six first team selections and a pair of special mention choices, but the Blue Devils also came away with both the Defensive player of the year and a share of coach of the year honors for a second straight postseason.
Senior linebacker Cade Roberts — a first team selection last fall — replaced graduated teammate Jacob Campbell as the new D-4 Defensive POY after posting 111 tackles, six tackles for loss, one sack, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one interception in 10 regular season games.
Third year GAHS frontman Alex Penrod also repeated as Division IV COY in sharing this year’s honors with Chris Crabtree of Waverly.
Roberts was joined on the first team by junior running back James Armstrong, junior offensive lineman Riley Starnes, junior quarterback Noah Vanco, sophomore defensive lineman Brayden Easton and senior punter Andrew Toler.
Senior lineman Cole Rose and junior lineman Zack Hemby were also chosen to the Special Mention list in D-4 on behalf of the Blue Devils.
Waverly senior running back Payton Shoemaker was named the Division IV Offensive player of the year.
The Eagles (8-3) qualified for their first postseason appearance since 2001 and came away with eight total selections in Division VII after falling 35-7 to Newark Catholic in the Region 27 opening round.
Eastern junior linebacker Will Oldaker was named the D-7 Defensive player of the year after amassing 61 tackles, 29 tackles for loss and a pair of interceptions.
Oldaker was joined on the first team by junior running backs Blake Newland and Steven Fitzgerald, junior offensive lineman Jake Barber and senior linebacker Mason Dishong.
Senior Nick Little and sophomore Brayden Smith were also chosen to the Special Mention list in D-7 on behalf of the Eagles.
Southern secured three selections in Division VII after putting together a 5-5 season. Senior running back Trey McNickle and senior quarterback Gage Shuler were first team honorees, while senior Matthias Stansberry was a special mention selection for the Tornadoes.
South Gallia landed two selections on the D-7 squads with a 1-9 campaign. Senior defensive back Kyle Northup was a first team honoree, while senior Justin Butler was a special mention selection for the Rebels.
Zane Heiss of Waterford was named the D-7 Offensive player of the year, while Rusty Webb of Symmes Valley was named D-7 coach of the year.
Both Meigs and River Valley landed two players apiece on the Division V squads after posting identical 2-8 marks in the regular season.
Sophomore quarterback Coulter Cleland was a first team selection and was joined by junior Abe Lundy, who ended up as a special mention honoree in D-5 for the Marauders.
The Raiders had a pair of special mention selections in seniors Cole Young and Darian Peck.
Talyn Parker of Portsmouth was the Division V Offensive player of the year and Reid Carrico of Ironton was named the D-5 Defensive player of the year.
Trevon Pendleton of Ironton, Bruce Kalb of Portsmouth and Mike Smith of Wellston all shared the D-5 coach of the year honors.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.